26 May 2022

Laois Bealtaine Festival 2022 announced

Laois Bealtaine Festival 2022 announced

The programme for this year’s Laois Bealtaine Festival has been announced.

For the month of May the Arts Office at Laois County Council invites people of an older age to join in some wonderful events in Laois for the Bealtaine Festival 2022.  Celebrating creativity, the theme for 2022 is ‘And catch the heart off guard’.

In Trust. In Gratitude. In Hope at Laois Arthouse Stradbally - 10 Years at Laois Arthouse Exhibition with guided tours throughout May. Active Age Groups are welcomed to visit this wonderful exhibition featuring the work of 64 artists providing their unique insight to Laois born poet Pat Boran’s specially commissioned poem ‘The Window Seat’, with a stunning series of artworks in a variety of themes.

Opening times Tues-Fri 1-4pm or by appointment.  Booking essential for groups: T: 057 8664033 or E: 

From Thursday, May 5 to 12 at the Laois Arthouse in Stradbally there’ll be a fun introduction to Felt making with textile artist Maria McGarry. Learn the technique of laying fibers of merino wool to create felt using soapy water and gentle rolling. Participants will create their own designed stained glass inspired piece.  Booking essential:  T: 057 8664033 email: Free event. Open from 2 to 4pm. .

Writing Your Story – Join renowned local writer Pauline Clooney on  Wednesday, May 4, 11, 18 and 25 at Laois Arthouse Stradbally from 11am to 1pm for a course for creative non-fiction writing (Memoir/biography/autobiography). If you have a story you want to record for posterity or an interest in something or someone specific that you would like to write about, then this may be the course you are looking for. Through prompted written exercises, instruction in the art of writing and the sharing of your work you will be encouraged and guided through the processes involved in writing about fact in a creative manner. Course consists of four two-hour sessions. Booking essential:  T: 057 8664033 email: Free event.

As part of Bealtaine, Laois Arts Office in partnership with the Dunamaise Arts Centre are launching a new Creativity in Older Age programme in collaboration with Laois Housing, Age Friendly Laois and Healthy Ireland Laois. The creative programme will consist of engagement with older people living within social housing schemes in Laois and older people with early stages of dementia in Laois. In addition, the Arts Office will engage with older artists in the county to understand their professional support requirements. All information at and Creative Ireland Laois social media channels.

The Creativity in Older Age programme is supported by Creative Ireland Laois as part of the Creative Ireland Programme in partnership with Laois County Council.

Also at the Dunamaise Arts Centre  Bealtaine events include: - Thursday, May 5 at 7pm. Film: Sunshine on Leith. A fundraising event to screen the film based on the sensational stage hit of the same name, featuring music by pop-folk band The Proclaimers that the award-winning Portlaoise Musical Society bring to the Dunamaise stage for its Irish premiere this November. 

Friday, May 6 at 8pm. Theatre: Sorry for your Loss. An unmissable night of fun and craic that will have you killed with laughter. The adult comedy show that gives uncle Paddy the send-off he always wanted. If it’s laughter you’re after then this is the wake for you!   Saturday, May 7 at 2pm. Music:  Tell Me This Now. Mountrath Youth Theatre and Mountrath Golden Years Club come together for an afternoon of storytelling to see what we can all learn from each other.  

Friday, May 13 at 8pm. Theatre: Shirley Valentine. Treat yourself to an evening of laughter and triumph, as Norma Sheahan, one of Ireland’s leading dramatic actors, breathes new life into Willy Russell’s effervescent and iconic character Shirley Valentine.  

Thursday, May 19 to Saturday, May 21 at 8pm. (7.30pm & Sat. matinee 2.30pm) Theatre: Waiting for Gateaux. The Irish-premiere of this riotous, laugh-a-minute comedy about friendship, frostbite and French fries! Starring Mary Byrne (X-Factor) and Eilís O’Carroll (Mrs. Brown’s Boys).

 Wednesday, May 25 at 11am and 8pm. Free  Cinema: Military Wives. A 2019 British comedy drama film inspired by the true story of the Military Wives Choirs, a network of 75 choirs in British military bases across the United Kingdom and overseas.  

Friday, May 27 at 8pm. Music: Declan Nerney in concert with Louise Morrissey and John Hogan. Join Irish country music artist Declan Nerney with his super live band and special guests Louise Morrissey and John Hogan for a nostalgic night of music, song and laughter.

A wide ranging programme of events also taking place at Laois Libraries as well as lifestyle and  wellbeing events run by Laois Sports Partnership full programme available on

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